Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | April 7, 2011

Beer Cocktail: Chelada

My latest piece for PRZman focuses on one of my favorite beer cocktails (especially in warm weather).

Beer Cocktail: Chelada

Beer Day is upon us, so I thought I’d share a favorite cocktail made from beer. While you may not immediately realize it, there are lots of great beer cocktails. The Redeye, made with beer and tomato juice is a good hangover cure. You can enjoy a Shandy in Britain or a Radler in Germany, but in either case you’ll drinking beer mixed with lemonade. And, of course, the Black and Tan (Guinness and lager) is the quintessential Irish beer cocktail. The recipes for these will vary slightly by taste, but most are equal parts of each ingredient.

My favorite beer cocktail as days start to get longer and warmer is the Chelada, a drink popular in Mexico. Recipes vary, but it’s a fairly simple affair that melds typically light Mexican lager with lime and savory ingredients. In the last few years, major American beer companies have sold limed-up versions of their light beers, but these are pretty unrecognizable next to a real Chelada. Show your friends you have some taste and whip up a few Cheladas on Beer Day and scoff at any friends who think Miller Chill or Bud Light Lime is an appropriate drink for any self-respecting man (or woman for that matter).


12 oz Mexican beer (Sol, Modelo Especial, & Tecate work well)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco
2 dashes soy sauce
Pinch of ground black pepper

Cut the lime in half and rub the rim of a pint glass with it. Fill a small dish with course salt and turn the outside of the pint glass through it, so you get a salted rim. Add ice to the pint glass, then add the soy, Worcestershire, Tabasco, pepper and lime juice. Top it with the beer and enjoy.



  1. I think you may be cheating here. A chelada should have tomato juice in it. What you’ve posted about here is something I can get excited about, but that’s not the case for a real chelada.

    • I did a ton of research for this post and in my experience and with what I’ve seen, while there is no hard and fast rule, the Michelada has tomato juice and the Chelada is a beer & lime drink. Think the Miller Chill – beer plus lime (well, more likely, malt beverage plus lime). I have some friends whose Cheladas have tomato juice and others whose Micheladas are just lime…but in a world without no definitive solution, I went the route I found the most support for in my experiences at bars, restaurants, and online.

  2. Fair enough. I’ve heard of the michelada too. I guess this is just an issue of people bastarding one or the other or both. Big surprise.

    With that said, you now need to do an in-depth review of Budweiser’s Clamato Chelada:

    • Yeah, Beer + Tomato + Clam juice or, faster, Beer + Clamato is also in the mix. It definitely comes up in both Micheladas and Cheladas.

      What I found researching the Chelada and the Michelada is that it’s pretty similar to what currently passes for a Martini. For some people it’s vodka, for others it’s gin; some use vermouth, some use olive brine. Of course the difference is that there is a *right* answer to that (gin&vermouth is right, everything else is a bastardization).

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